DNA Repair Pathways in Cancer Therapy and Resistance

Lan Ya Li, Yi Di Guan, Xi Sha Chen, Jin Ming Yang, Yan Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


DNA repair pathways are triggered to maintain genetic stability and integrity when mammalian cells are exposed to endogenous or exogenous DNA-damaging agents. The deregulation of DNA repair pathways is associated with the initiation and progression of cancer. As the primary anti-cancer therapies, ionizing radiation and chemotherapeutic agents induce cell death by directly or indirectly causing DNA damage, dysregulation of the DNA damage response may contribute to hypersensitivity or resistance of cancer cells to genotoxic agents and targeting DNA repair pathway can increase the tumor sensitivity to cancer therapies. Therefore, targeting DNA repair pathways may be a potential therapeutic approach for cancer treatment. A better understanding of the biology and the regulatory mechanisms of DNA repair pathways has the potential to facilitate the development of inhibitors of nuclear and mitochondria DNA repair pathways for enhancing anticancer effect of DNA damage-based therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number629266
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
StatePublished - Feb 8 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2021 Li, Guan, Chen, Yang and Cheng.


  • DNA damage
  • DNA repair pathways
  • cancer therapy
  • drug resistance
  • mitochondrial DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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